Monday, June 29, 2015

Terminator Genisys

As someone who despised Thor: The Dark World, it's understandable that I wasn't expecting much when I walked into the Alan Taylor-directed Terminator Genisys. But perhaps those lowered expectations worked in my favor, because I ended up enjoying Genisys quite a bit. It has some issues involving dialogue and some questionable action sequences, but overall, I found it to be a satisfying sequel to a franchise that was essentially dead in the water after the horrendous Terminator Salvation. This is a movie worthy of the Terminator name.

Terminator Genisys
Director: Alan Taylor
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Trainwreck

Comedian Amy Schumer has her first starring role in Trainwreck, the latest film from director Judd Apatow, and this movie heralds the arrival of a true movie star. This is the first time Apatow has directed a feature he didn't also write — Schumer took scripting duties on this one — and, coincidentally or not, it also might be Apatow's best movie. Trainwreck is consistently funny, but it's also a personal, emotional film that surprised me with its mixture of heart and hilarity.

Trainwreck
Director: Judd Apatow
Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, LeBron James


Big Game

As nostalgia continues to fuel decisions of what films to greenlight these days, there are two different ways filmmakers can play on audiences' memories of films from years past: they can either directly reference older movies, or they can try to capture their vibe and incorporate that style into their storytelling. Big Game is a perfect example of the latter, a self-aware, idiotic '90s throwback full of B-movie fun.

Big Game
Writer/Director: Jalmari Helander
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Onni Tommila, Ray Stevenson


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ted 2

There was a time when I found Seth MacFarlane's style of humor to be hysterical, back when his non-sequiturs and cutaways were still considered groundbreaking. I couldn't get enough of the so-called "random" comedy he was pushing. But that time has long passed, and though I still tune in to Family Guy, the show is a shadow of its former self. With Ted 2, MacFarlane confirms that he has no interest in evolving as an artist, and that's tough for me to come to grips with because I feel like he's not living up to his full potential. He appears to be a smart guy in real life, but that intelligence hardly ever translates to the screen; in every scene, it seems as if he makes a beeline for the quickest, most obvious joke, and while that approach will get a few laughs, I find myself wrestling with accepting him for the filmmaker he is and holding out hope for the filmmaker I want him to be.

Ted 2
Co-Writer/Director: Seth MacFarlane
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried